June 15, 2018

India facing the ‘worst water crisis in its history’

India facing the 'worst water crisis in its history' Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Thousands of Indians die each year as they have no access to clean water India is facing its worst-ever water crisis, with some 600 million people facing acute water shortage, a government think-tank says. The Niti Aayog report, which draws on data from 24 of India's 29 states, says the crisis is "only going to get worse" in the years ahead. It also warns that 21 cities are likely to run out of groundwater by 2020 despite increasing demand. This would also threaten food security as 80% of water is used in agriculture. Indian cities and towns regularly run out water in the summer because they lack the infrastructure to deliver piped water to every home. Rural areas are also badly affected by a lack of access to clean water. They cannot rely on groundwater due to erratic rains and the fact that the groundwater is increasingly used for farming when monsoon rains are delayed or..
June 15, 2018

China’s ride-hailing giant Didi to launch in Australia

China's ride-hailing giant Didi to launch in Australia Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache merged in 2015 to form Didi Kuaidi, later renamed Didi Chuxing China's ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is set to launch in Melbourne, Australia, from 25 June as it continues its international expansion. The firm, which recently launched in Mexico, has just completed a month-long trial in close-by Geelong, Victoria. Didi is the world's largest ride-hailing app and is best known for driving Uber off the streets in China. Valued at about $56bn (£39.4bn), the Chinese giant is also the world's most valuable start-up. The Australian ride-hailing industry is currently dominated by Uber, but recent entrants to the marketplace include India's Ola and Europe's Taxify. Australian firm GoCatch is also a player in the market. China's Uber says it's time to go global India's Ola to enter Australia market Uber sells its Chinese ..
June 15, 2018

South Korea and US discuss future of joint war games

South Korea and US discuss future of joint war games Image copyright Getty Images Image caption US and South Korean troops practice a beach landing The defence ministers of South Korea and the US have discussed the future of their joint military drills after the US president said they would be ending. Donald Trump made the surprise announcement following his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The US has insisted its alliance with Seoul - which has always said the drills are essential - is "iron clad". Separately, South and North Korea have said they will completely restore their military communication lines. What are the US-South Korea war games? What were the results of the Trump-Kim summit? The North Korea crisis in 300 words There are about 29,000 US soldiers based in South Korea and each year. The two countries regularly conduct large scale military drills, often called war games. The next joint drill was scheduled for this autumn. But following his talks with Kim J..
June 14, 2018

Eurydice Dixon: Comedian’s killing prompts anger in Australia

Eurydice Dixon: Comedian's killing prompts anger in Australia Image copyright FACEBOOK Image caption Eurydice Dixon has been remembered as a promising young comedian The alleged rape and murder of a young comedian as she walked home at night in Australia has prompted an outpouring of public grief and anger. The body of Eurydice Dixon, 22, was found at a football field in Melbourne early on Wednesday, only hours after she had performed a gig at a city bar. A man, 19, has been charged by police. Comedians and the public have inundated social media with tributes to Ms Dixon, in a case that has reignited local debate about violence against women. For many, it has evoked memories of the 2012 murder of an Irish woman, Jill Meagher, whose death in an adjacent Melbourne suburb prompted a peace march involving an estimated 30,000 people. Although not widely known, Ms Dixon has been remembered as a talented comedian at the start of her career. "She had a great passion for women's iss..
June 14, 2018

IMF: US tariffs could undermine global trade

IMF: US tariffs could undermine global trade Image copyright EPA Image caption IMF head Christine Lagarde has already warned that the US and China trade row threatens global confidence and investment The Trump administration's trade policies are likely to hurt the US economy and undermine the world's trade system, the IMF has warned. IMF Director Christine Lagarde said a trade war would lead to "losers on both sides" and could have "serious" impact. The caution came as the US prepares to levy new tariffs on $50bn worth of Chinese imports. New duties on foreign steel and aluminium, announced in March, have already gone into effect. Those tariffs have already prompted Europe, Mexico, Canada and China to introduce or announce plans for counter-measures in retaliation. The rise of the global mega-firms - why the IMF is worriedWhile the IMF expects the dispute to have relatively minor economic impact - slowing GDP by a fraction of a percentage point - Ms Lagarde said she is conce..
June 14, 2018

Mix-ups and fanfare: What no-one else saw at the Trump-Kim summit

June 14, 2018

Kashmir journalist Shujaat Bukhari shot dead in Srinigar

Kashmir journalist Shujaat Bukhari shot dead in Srinigar Image copyright Shujaat Bukhari/Twitter A leading newspaper journalist and editor in Indian-administered Kashmir, Shujaat Bukhari, has been shot dead in Srinigar. Bukhari, a frequent contributor to the BBC News website, was attacked near the office of the Rising Kashmir newspaper, which he edited. He was taken to hospital but was later declared dead. One of his guards was also killed in the attack and another is critically injured, police told the BBC. No group has claimed the killings but police say suspected militants carried out the attack. Bukhari described the threat to Kashmiri journalists in a 2016 article for BBC News. "Threats to life, intimidation, assault, arrest and censorship have been part of the life of a typical local journalist," he wrote. He was well-known in Kashmir and was previously a correspondent for the Indian newspaper The Hindu. He was in his early 50s and is survived by his wife, son, daughter and par..
June 14, 2018

India transgender officer rejoins duty after rare show of support

India transgender officer rejoins duty after rare show of support Image caption Lalit Salve after the sex change surgery An Indian policeman who underwent sex change surgery has been allowed to rejoin the force after a minister backed him in a rare show of support. Lalit Salve, 29, joined the force as a female constable in 2009 in the western state of Maharashtra. He had surgery on 25 May, two years after deciding to transition to a male. Mr Salve said his employers initially did not support him. But the state's chief minister intervened after he petitioned Mumbai's high court. "The last few years have been very stressful. But when I woke up after the surgery, I could breathe freely," he told BBC Marathi's Janhavee Moole. "I wasn't sure if I wanted to live or die. It was a horrible time. I had felt suffocated. I struggled to overcome this and now I feel I have won." The clinic helping India's transgender people India's first complete transgender couple ..
June 14, 2018

Sri Lanka hardline monk Gnanasara jailed for intimidation

Sri Lanka hardline monk Gnanasara jailed for intimidation Image copyright Reuters Image caption Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara Thero leads a Buddhist nationalist group accused of violence A court in Sri Lanka has sentenced a hardline Buddhist monk to six months in prison for threatening the wife of a missing cartoonist. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero was found guilty of criminally intimidating Sanya Eknaligoda at a court in 2016. Sri Lanka rarely convicts Buddhist monks. This is the first time Gnanasara has been jailed, although he has previously been accused of hate crimes and anti-Muslim violence. The monk, who leads the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or "Buddhist Power Force", had interrupted a court hearing in which military intelligence officials were accused of abducting Sanya Eknaligoda's husband. The darker side of Buddhism Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims? Prageeth Eknaligoda, a critic of the then government, went missing in 2010. His wife has led a campaign to trace his where..
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